For all of us not named Scrooge, Christmas should be a time of holiday cheer. It's a time for counting blessings, drinking eggnog and sharing well wishes. I have a baker's dozen for the new year.

Here's hoping that:

  • Hercules City Council members Myrna de Vera and Dan Romero can bury the hatchet -- without anybody getting hurt. Keeping their little dysfunctional city out of bankruptcy should be challenge enough for now.

  • The seniors at Heritage High School can find a more palatable way of celebrating graduation than the preceding class. And almost anything would be better than vandalizing the campus and tethering a lamb to a lamppost.

  • Danville residents can work within the system and grow their town in the way they see fit. Anyone with a grain of sense knows that affordable housing and Danville should never be uttered in the same sentence.

  • The Mt. Diablo Unified School District can discover the joys of transparency with a new president and two new trustees on the board, because it wasn't there in April when Superintendent Steven Lawrence's contract was extended for reasons that remain unclear.

  • Lafayette can take pride in the fact that every builder with a shovel and a truck wants to build condos, apartments, rest homes and townhouses within the city limits. Hey, if you live where everyone wants to live, you must have picked a great place.

  • None of those who voted down the Measure Q fire district parcel tax will have need for emergency assistance in the near future. The pain they'll suffer will be profound enough when they see the next statement for their homeowners insurance.

  • Penny-pinching Concord can search through its petty cash drawer and find enough loose change to refill the pools and turn on fountains at City Hall and Todos Santos Plaza. Fountains lose a lot of their appeal when there isn't any water in them.

  • Chevron can satisfy the Chemical Safety Board, Environmental Protection Agency and state Division of Occupational Safety and Health with its refinery repairs, because satisfying Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin is a hurdle that it will never clear.

  • The good folks who live in Saranap can find the bright side to the construction of the new Sufism Reoriented sanctuary in their midst. After all, whatever gets built has to look better than the big hole there now.

  • The California Department of Parks and Recreation can manage to get through an entire year without misplacing $54 million in a special account while squawking about having to shut down parks because of a funding shortage.

  • The Metropolitan Transportation Commission forgets it ever contemplated a VMT (vehicle miles traveled) tax. It's because of screwball ideas like this that voters learn to loathe governmental agencies.

  • Richmond residents take to heart what Councilman Jeff Ritterman said even after voting down his so-called "soda tax." Educating consumers about the health dangers of sugar-sweetened drinks was a good idea. Bashing them with another tax was not.

  • Gov. Jerry Brown calls a news conference to explain that the $8 billion he approved for the first leg of high-speed rail was all a joke: "A bullet train connecting Merced to Chowchilla? You really think I'd waste money on that?"

    OK, that wish is far-fetched. But this one isn't: Have a great holiday and a better new year.

    Contact Tom Barnidge at tbarnidge@bayareanewsgroup.com.